On August 12, 2021 the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) issued an updated “Guidance on Diversity Plans.” The document helps applicants and licensees provide equitable access to regulated medical and adult-use industries in Massachusetts.
The CCC is required by law to establish policies to encourage full participation in the regulated marijuana industry by members of communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana criminalization, and to positively impact those communities. The law also requires the Commission to study participation in the regulated marijuana industry and, based on the result of that study, adopt diversity licensing goals for businesses owned by members of disproportionately affected communities, including minority business enterprises, women business enterprises, and veteran business enterprises.
Diversity plans are one mechanism to promote full and meaningful participation and provide equitable access to the regulated markets. The purpose of a Diversity Plan is to promote equity among all of the following:
- People of color, particularly Black, African American, Hispanic, Latinx, and Indigenous people
- Persons with disabilities
- LGBTQ+ individuals
Please note that each diversity plan should be unique and the Commission is encouraging applicants and licensees to “think outside the box.”
The updated Guidance is meant to provide Marijuana Establishment and Medical Marijuana Treatment Center applicants and licensees with additional clarity and best practices. A “Diversity Plan Resources” document attached at the end of the Guidance is a separate living document that will be updated as needed by Commission staff.
A diversity plan is not the same as the Commission’s required Plan to Positively Impact Disproportionately Harmed People. All applicants and licensees must submit separate and distinct plans in compliance with the requirements of each.
For more information please feel free to contact any member of the Prince Lobel Cannabis team.